At long last, #legend gets the chance to test drive a McLaren. And the 720S Spider supercar, it seems, was well worth the wait
My first test drive invitation from McLaren finally came recently and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be testing out the latest 720S Spider.
I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to test drive supercars for many years now and I always wondered why I never got invited to test drive a McLaren. What took them so long? Could it be that my driving skills are not good enough to get behind the wheel of a McLaren?
Overthinking can be psychologically damaging to my ego, and I happen to have a huge one of those. But I have no idea what took them so long! Nevertheless, my dream finally came true and the McLaren 720S Spider has to be the perfect car for me to test drive in my own stylish way.
My first impression when looking at any McLaren is that they all seem rather small in terms of frame size but surprisingly roomy and comfortable once you get inside. McLaren is all about performance and delivering exactly what a sports car driver needs without over-designing the interiors and trying to impress with all the unnecessary high-tech buttons and equipment that might be too overwhelming to use or that you will never use at all. Frankly speaking, its cars are simply designed to take you from one place to another in a very fast way.
Once I had my hands on the steering wheel of the McLaren 720S Spider, everything felt totally in control. It was like walking into my own home. But since it’s a Spider, the first thing to do was to get the roof down as fast as possible. I have a thing about convertibles –the first question I ask any manufacturer before they invite me for a test drive is, “Is the car a convertible?” They usually get a much faster response when it happens to be a Spider.
Since this was my first invitation from McLaren, I thought I might need to do something a bit special compared to my usual filming. So I got myself a set of Insta360 cameras with a heavyweight car mount that was practically glued to the car without me having to worry about them flying off while driving at high speed.
When I finally embarked on my journey, the car drove like a dream. Surprisingly, I have never considered McLaren the must-have or go-to sports car. But once you’re inside the car and enjoying the driving experience, the McLaren is a totally exceptional machine with beautiful design elements inside and out. I just kept thinking about how long I could keep the car for. Frankly speaking, I wouldn’t mind keeping it forever!
The McLaren 720S Spider is equipped with a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged McLaren V8 engine that produces 720PS and 770Nm of torque, with a power-to-weight ratio of 540PS/tonne at the lightest dry weight. It accelerates from 0-100km/h in 2.9 seconds and 0-200km/h in 7.9 seconds with a maximum speed with the roof raised of 341km/h and lowered of 325km/h. The patented roof system is electrochromic actuated and delivers the fastest operating time in the supercar class, lowering or raising in 11 seconds at vehicle speeds of up to 50km/h.
To better exploit the huge potential of the 720S Spider, the driver can adjust transmission and suspension characteristics using the Comfort, Sport and Track mode settings on McLaren’s trademark Active Dynamics Panel. For me, I always like to drive with the beast mode on, which is Track Mode. Once activated, you’ll see McLaren’s clever touch of turning the entire dashboard over to a minimalist visual setting.
This car is so well designed for any level of driver that the driving experience is as easy as taking a walk in the park. The most impressive thing about it is its handling, which will surprise you at high speeds, especially around corners with an unbelievable down force that practically glues the car to the road! I have to say this is one supercar that made me feel like I was in total control rather than the car controlling me. This beast does not need to be tamed. It is fully trained to be your friendly and stylish companion, and take you places at lightning speed!